Genius: The Game
by Leopoldo Gout
Review by Jarad Johnson
The premise of Genius is unique. A group of the 200 greatest minds in the world go head to head in a competition devised by India’s youngest CEO visionary. The book is told from the perspective of three brilliant teenagers. First, Rex, one of the best programmers/hackers in the world, is determined to enter the game by any means necessary to find his missing brother. The next contestant is, Tunde. At fourteen years old, he is a self-taught engineering genius, and has attracted the attention of a very powerful warlord to himself and his rural Nigerian village by singlehandedly bringing electricity to his community. Tunde has been told that he must win the game so that he can build this general a weapon of mass destruction. Finally, the online vigilante known as Painted Wolf exposes corruption in China by filming it and posting it for everyone to see. The stakes are high. And the revolution has only just begun.
I can recommend the book as an enjoyable read; I found the concept and characters engaging and entertaining. However, it did not meet my expectations. There wasn’t enough detail in some of the passages and things moved so quickly that the plot seemed oversimplified. For example, the Game only lasted two days. Some of the challenges seemed to be a little too easy for the contestants. In short, it read like a movie script more than an actual novel. This makes sense because the author bio states that Gout started out in film, and has actually helped produce shows like Zoo by James Patterson.
I found the book somewhat lacking in character development and general detail. I actually think that it could have been at least 150-200 pages longer. If the story were made into a film, the actors might be able to flesh out the characters, but in a novel this requires words. I felt disconnected from the characters and story, and that detracted from my overall enjoyment of the novel. As I understand it, there will be a sequel. I believe the book is still worth reading for the concept and the entertainment value, but there’s room for improvement the second time around.
Purchase the book here: Genius: The Game
Jarad attends Fayetteville High School, loves tea, and tries to spend every spare second reading. Jarad wants to be an English major. Bless his heart! Let's all light a candle for him and send him happy thoughts!